Friday, 29 January 2010

Home Hill 2010


(Above.....apropos of absolutely nothing.......have a guess where this is? Is it Greece, or the Mediterranean, or Monaco? Definitely NOT Home Hill. It's Cremorne this morning, taken from Nellie's rented holiday home. I visited the family at Cremorne at the holiday hire before departing for lunch at Home Hill, and it was absolutely gorgeous there.) Now to the REAL business of the day:

Lunch today at Home Hill was…..how can I put this?.........amazing, astounding, impressive.

David Flukes (ex Henry Jones, Moorilla and Islington, as well as interstate and overseas restaurants) was duty chef today, so it was with much curiosity that Rita read the menu, then awaited the arrival of the food, to see exactly what this chef is about.

David was introduced to me today by Rosemary (owner of HH) under my real name (which is natural, given she has known me as that since we started school at Huonville Infant School together in 1954), then added in explanation that I also wrote on a blog. It transpired that David has been a regular commenter on this blog for years, once we established which blog I wrote! He wouldn’t tell me which pseudonym he commented under which I found a bit frustrating, given that I’m just as curious about my commenters as they may well be about me. But no matter. He knew what he was dealing with then, so it was Game On!!

We started with freshly baked sourdough bread ($3) with both lemon pressed olive oil, and butter. It was stunning, and was right up there (and maybe pipped them at the post) with Piccalilly’s bread. The lemon pressed oil was different but effective in its resultant flavour. I was obviously using my previous bread/oil experience at Piccalilly as my yardstick (that being the last time I ate bread/oil) and surprised myself by enjoying today’s offerings as much as Piccalilly’s.

I was with daughter number 3, who had invited me out, saying she had fond memories of a perfect steak (grain fed eye fillet with potato terrine, roasted cherry tomatoes and pinot jus $33.50) at HH last time we ate there, and had a craving for a repeat of the same today (pic below). Being mega-hungry, she also wanted another main course (at entrée time) of farmed rabbit stuffed with pine nuts, red rice and apricot, with warm pinkeye and seeded mustard salad ($31).



She absolutely loved both dishes, and the single mouthful I was permitted of both backed that judgement up, particularly the rabbit (pic below). It was quite white-fleshed in appearance, to the extent that we both initially thought they’d made a mistake with our order, but on closer examination (and tasting) it proved to be the rabbit, as ordered.


I decided on 2 entrees, so selected Woodbridge smoked trout with roasted onion aioli, caper berries and tarragon lemon oil ($19.50) and salmon ravioli with vegetable broth and herbs ($18.50) – both, in their own particular different ways, spectacular.

The smoked trout (pic below) was pretty standard smoked trout in that I love it anyway, so there is nothing they could do to it to make me NOT like it. However it was the accompanying additions that provided that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ and which elevated this dish from ordinary to spectacular. The aioli had the general appearance of hummus, but tasted startlingly beautiful, and the tarragon lemon oil finished off the dish to perfection, with the aftertaste lingering in my mouth for hours after.


The salmon ravioli (below) was the most delicately flavoured dish I’ve had since Piccalilly. The vegetable broth mixed with the fresh herbs was breathtaking.



We desserted on the steamed almond sponge (below, lower) with marinated berries and vanilla jelly ($12) and bitter chocolate marquis (below, upper) with apricots, spiced brioche and yoghurt ice cream ($13). In the ‘eating cos I’m hungry’ world, I would not have ordered desserts, but in the world of the food blogger, you are curious about ALL the food, so, as I really did want to check out the desserts, it was curiosity not piggery that made me order them, and having sampled what I deemed to be enough to speak reasonably knowledgeably about them, then left the rest. They were both very good, with my favourite being the marquis.


To sum up today’s lunch experience – I recommend a visit to Home Hill if you want to experience fabulous food. I’m not saying this because Rosemary is an old school friend, or because David reads my blog. I genuinely savoured every mouthful I ate today, and will make sure I return soon. I would put today’s meal up there with my recent meals at both RVL last Saturday night and, of course, Piccalilly a few weeks ago.
Posted on by Rita
64 comments

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

where did you find apropos...

Christina said...

Must compliment you on this lot of food photos Rita.
My mouth was watering, {it usually is}!
The last little pic did it for me.
I wanted to see what it was so went back through all the pics.
Well done.
Much improved since you first started showing us half eaten meals!
Don't worry I know you, like me, can't wait once the plate is put before us, then remember we were supposed to take a photo!
These were great and have done a fine meal justice.

Rita said...

Ah Christina - I was SO wishing you were there with us yesterday. You would have loved the meal! Thanks for the photo compliments. I can take some of the credit but that final pic was taken by Jackie. She's inherited some of that artistic talent from her grandfather, albeit stifled somewhat by my non-professional camera!

lemon curd said...

David spent time at the Acme Bakery in Berkeley California honing his bread making skills, and I think that sourdough is up there with the very best!
The food is so beautifully presented and looks so delicate (even the steak to an extent!!), you know, you can see the complexity of the flavours?
Rambling - up earlier than I was expecting :P

lemon curd said...

By the way - shall be very interested to see who is in the kitchens at Moorilla next week - the Moo team are being very tight lipped which leaves us only with wild rumours...

Piccalilly said...

Dave has spent several hours in the Piccalilly kitchen over the last couple of years giving much needed advice on our bread! It's one of his great passions (hence it's so good) and his knowledge on the subject is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Finally sounds like HH have got someone in that can cook. I'll give them another try now after three very average meals there over the years.

Brad Pitt's brother said...

The potato terrine at Home Hill is second to none.

Everything else looks sensational too judging by your review and pics.

We might head back there again, as it's been a while since we've been there.

Especially now that we don't have to worry about Angelina no more..

Christina said...

Brad Pitts brother,
you are making me laugh!

Brad Pitt said...

He is my brother, too!

Angelina said...

I'm going off the brother's brother a bit though!

Victor said...

That is so mouth-watering delicious, Rita.

Have you got a new camera? Because those dishes look stunning. Esp the one with little tadpoles look-alike (caper berries) swimming around a plateful of striking bright red salmon!

David = Duty Chef for the day. Does it mean he is working there permanently or just for the day?

It has been awhile since we've been there, but judging by your review and the dishes, I will go there anytime when David is cooking.

Rita said...

Thanks LC and Piccalilly. I love getting the background to these stories.
Hi Brad Pitt, his brother and Angelina - thanks for dropping by, and deigning to comment. We love it when you take an interest in our food scene here in little old Hobart (well, Huonville, to be specific).
Hi Victor - same camera, but I have found light makes a hell of a difference to my pics. Light in the restaurant, the light of the day (ie sunny or dull or night time), the colours of the food, etc all impact on the photos.

When I said David was Duty chef: there are usually 2 chefs there at HH (Craig, who I believe is classified as Head Chef, and David). Craig wasn't there on Fri.

You're right about the beautiful-looking food. That was half the appeal of it - it looked so gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

deigning...

Angelina said...

Good word that - deigning - and well used Rita!

Rita said...

Thanks, Angie - hope it's OK if I call you Angie?

Angie said...

I mostly insist people call me Mrs Pitt, even tho we're not actually married (or likely to be either!). As you're a special person I'd be pleased if you call me Angie

Nuf Sed said...

GEEEEZ Rita, no wonder this blog will be in the paper tomorrow, your that famous now with all these celebs stopping by and showing such an interest in Tasssies hosptality scene

Rita said...

Angie - great, thanks. I love being best buds with celebrities!
Nuf Sed - what can I say? We attract the best readers and commenters here at Rita's Bite!

Anonymous said...

Rita: nothing about bloggers in todays paper? :(

Rita said...

The email I received tonight said they were holding it over till Saturday's Inside Stories....

Anonymous said...

david and iain are the only 2 peaple to come out of the jones both alive and able to cook as for the rest there over inflated egos belay there lack of actual skill and brings up the old adage its not where you work or worked its what you did there davids passion is what makes him so good and his thirst for knowledge and turning this into actual skill and peaple who think he has a big ego simply do not know him he is on a quest that will one day lead into some brilliant establishment so to all you david nay sayers out there what have you done and what are you doing and the ansewer is nothing and will you be something once again the ansewer is funnily enough the same good luck david your future is so bright you have to wear shades and to all those big names who think your all that most of you have no commitments but your still in hobart for some reason not usually good

Rita said...

Anon 5.40 - I agree with your opinion of David's passion and cooking talent. I for one will miss him on the local cooking landscape. Still, our loss is Melbourne's gain. Maybe he'll return here one day and spread the (baking) love around? Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

David who? never stays anywhere for long is all I know

A said...

Maybe because the quality of restaurant in Tasmania is lacking compared to the quality of the chef? There is probably only half a dozen restaurants in Tasmania up to scratch.

I know plenty of chefs living in gastrocapitals (London, Sydney, Paris, New York, San Sebastien etc) who only stay at restaurants for six to twelve months... Take a look at the guys who do stagiere at two and three star restaurants. They might only stay for six months before going somewhere else.

I also know plenty of chefs in Tasmania who stay at the one restaurant for 5 or 6 years.... And don't ever leave the state. In fact, I know plenty of Tasmanians who have never left the state full stop.

And people wonder why Tasmania never seems to improve greatly each year...

Anonymous said...

Oh so your saying that no restaurant is up to the Flukes standard? Righto.
I was told he's was going to blow everyone away when he decamped at Home Hill for what will now be know as his 'stagiere'.( I didn't know HH had a Michelin star but there you go!)
Anyway it didn't happen.
I'm sure Melbourne baking fraternity are very excited, they really need someone to teach them how to bake!

Anonomouse said...

Good post A... Crap name A... LOL! The chefs who do leave their hometown, whether it be Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Paris or New York, go off an do a stagiere in another country or city go on to become great chefs. People who stay in one place for five years are complacent and when they do eventually leave they get the shock of their lives. How can you possibly stay at one place for five years, working under one chef and expect to be any good. Especially since the quality of chef in Tasmania is lacking. It would be okay if you were working under Redzepi, Aduriz, Gagnaire, Ducasse, Keller, Wakuda or Passard. But under Foreman, Harris or Alps? Does anyone else see a massive quality difference here? They are all good chefs the ones I mentioned from Tasmania. But they aren't truly world class chefs...

MMMM... Pork said...

No... I am not saying that. Good chefs work at great restaurants. Who cares if he wants to pass on his knowledge of bread. If it's something he is passionate about and has the skills to do, then that can only benefit the people he works for. They can take or leave what they want of that. Great restaurants take the combined knowledge of everyone working their to get the best possible result. Good restaurants take the just the head and possibly sous chefs knowledge.

Sorry about the name Anonomouse (cool name btw). I accidentally bumped the A key. I'll fix that.

Anonymous said...

problem is not with the chefs or the restaurants-problem lies with an apathetic and money poor public, the local food media who dont promote great local talent until it moves interstate and a TAFE system in deep trouble. these all conspire to keep the local scene as conservative as possible-hence no real trailblazers unless you count piccalilly

Anonomouse said...

Restaurants are just the end product of a poorly run system... from suppliers through to education through to generally poor service.

I don't think the media aren't promoting local talent. I think the local talent moves interstate before it is time for their promotion. You can't promote every talented apprentice... The talent that does stay peaks pretty early in their career. They will stay at a restaurant for a long time, move on and then become a junior sous or sous by 26. At the local hotel...

Christina said...

Anonomouse, I enjoy reading your comments heaps, but I have to say, a lot of it is a little on the negative side.
Is there a reason, or how you see things in general, or just how you see Tassie's dining scene?
Curious, that's all.

Anonomouse said...

It's not meant to be negative. It's just the way I see Tassie's dining scene at the moment. Tasmania has a lot of potential and I want to see you reach that potential and do really really well. It saves me from flying overseas for a great meal. Bit over Sydney and Melbourne. Usually when I compare things I compare it to it's next level competitor. I'm not trying to be a prick or anything!

david flukes said...

anon 11.02 - what did I do to piss you off so much? Is it the fact that I continue to try and learn, rather than grow stagnant? should I perhaps not take the opportunities that come my way, and be satisfied with what I know rather than excited by what I dont? I think you have mistaken passion and enthusiasm for ego and beligerance, and that is a mistake on your part. I only ever wanted to keep learning and becoming better at my trade, so that one day I can return with my own business and contribute to the Hobart scene. If that irks you, then kindly keep it to yourself and off the blogs, or call me and bag me out directly! I believe a few darlings of the hobart scene move around much more than me, and seem to garner only praise...how about equality for all?
Thanks everyone else for the kind words, I really appreciate the support, and am suprised that this many people know who I am!

Anonymous said...

How about learning some humility while you are over there Davo?

jess said...

home hill. i was there for a wedding recently. i should say that as a vegetarian i am reasonably familiar (but not accustomed) to being treated like a second class citizen (worse in the past but getting increasingly better as time passes) but my experience at home hill really took the cake. i can honestly say that i have never had a worse wedding meal ever. the staff member came around to take my and my partner's orders (we are both vegetarian), there were 2 meat choices on the printed menu (despite an option for dietary preferences being on the invitation) - when we said we were vegetarian, the staff member looked surprised. and i know damn well the staff were informed of vegetarians attending as it was my sister's wedding. imagine MY surprise when the vegetarian entree brought out was the SIDE of the 'fish' entree - by that i mean we got 5-6 pieces of chargrilled asparagus with a hollandaise sauce. the people who ordered the fish entree got a slab of smoked salmon with exactly the same as what my partner and i got. no substitute for the salmon - just the side presented as an entree. that was the first insult. povtown extreme offering!!!! the second insult was the main - a capsicum filled with a tasteless mass of rice, a few pieces of vegies and pinenuts, chucked on top of some scant salad. not even some crumbled goat's cheese or anything remotely first class or up market about it. this was for $69/head - i saw the bill my parents received. on the other hand, meat-eaters got beautifully presented and probably worthwhile entree choices of smoked salmon or pork belly, and main choices of prime beef or salmon fillet. but the vegetarian 'choices' not featured on the menu and clearly not even thought about (especially the entree) - utterly insulting, and dare i say demonstrated there were cooks in the kitchen rather than properly qualified chefs. i won't be recommending this place to a single person. in fact the exact opposite. i'll be interested to come back to this blog and see if the 'chef' can offer any justification for this poor food experience.

jess said...

p.s. david - i wonder (i have just scanned some of the comments here) if you are one of those chefs who blame your customers for their food range (whether preferences or allergies) rather than your lack of imagination or preparation?

sir grumpy said...

What's wrong with a bowl of chips and some bread and butter for vegetarians, who amaze me at being astonished over how unprepared the world is for them!
It's had enough to get some decent omnivorous fare, at some places.
I think many become veggie just to have an avenue of complaint. Then it's no dairy, no nuts, no gluten, no sugar, no alcohol....
We should have BYO Veggie restaurants, where you bring your own food and are charged just seatage.
Sorry, just playing Devil's Advocate...I can't see it changing anytime in the future.

Anonymous said...

Jess, maybe your sister was so busy organising everything she forgot to mention to them that you and your partner were vegetarian and she mabye thought it easier not to tell you. Maybe thats why they got a suprise? But still they could have come up with something better for you.

Anonymous said...

Boo freaken Hoo-you didn't get 'special attention' just because you are vegetarian-get over yourself!
But I have to agree, Home Hill, way overrated, big on cost little on delivery. They churn em in n out on those wedding packages

Anonymous said...

Well Jess.... In case you hadn't read all the posts David went to Melbourne. Therefore he would not be working at Home Hill now would he?

He is back now and the least I heard he was back at his old haunt Moorilla.

Anonymous said...

Hahahah Jess? Someone needs to get all the information don't they? Fish is good. It's brain food.

Anonymous said...

Information and knowledge makes the world go round...

jess said...

i don't expect special treatment, i expect the normal standard of service (and news flash - hospitality is a service industry, if you're shite, you go out of business), it shouldn't matter what the food preference or need or desire is, if you're paying good money for a meal then it's reasonable to expect something comparable across the board. certainly sounds like some loser unimaginative cooks with a low level of skills and zero care for customer service patrol this blog site - and surprise surprise too scared to even post under their own name! very few people like 'all food' - if you call yourself a chef, learn to cook a range of food, otherwise maybe you should go and work at maccas where you don't have to think beyond meat or fish slapped on a bun.

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, cows, sheep, chickens etc were bred by farmers, killed and sold. And this is always happening because the older sheep, cows and chickens have babies.

It's a life cycle.

The world isn't going to run out of cows, sheep or chickens.

So either these older animals get killed for eating, or die in a paddock when they get old.

They are bred for eating for Christs sake. No use in not eating them.

jess said...

in case your bizarre rant is directed at me - i never said i have a problem with people who cook or eat meat. most of my family and friends indulge in the flesh, and i happily sit side by side them. i'm vegetarian not because i am an animal rights activist (and i never said that) - i just straight out don't like meat or fish, in the same way most people don't like particular types of food. and it's hardly unusual to be vegetarian or allergic to some type of food. and the fact is that a crap menu reflects a failing to cater to a broad set of requirements is down to a lack of customer service and/or skills either in management or the kitchen - pure and simple fact. i am being factual about my experience at home hill and i receive a ridiculous and unsubstantiated personal attack which is a poor reflection not on me, anon, but you.

Anonymous said...

Here's a fact. David Flukes is not working at Home Hill.

sir grumpy said...

Anonymous, those animals may well have been bred for meat but that is because of our intervention.
I'm not sure Mother Nature put everything else on the planet for us to eat!
We just made it that way.
Using your logic allows cannibalism!
I eat just about anything but actually wish I didn't, Unfortunately non-meat meals forever doesn't seem to work for me.
But I limit it and sometimes JUST do fish and chicken for a while.
When I was very young I castigated vegetarians for being a pain in the arse. They are not, I know now...they are making a choice, a choice as valid as yours.
Watch a few videos such as Fast Food Nation etc and it'll slow you down a bit mate.
If it doesn't you really should be worried.

jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jess said...

bloody hell, anonymous. is that why you are going mental - because i didn't read all 40+ comments on this post and incorrectly mentioned david in my follow-up comment to my main comment. i mentioned david only because he was listed in the original post, which is what i read before commenting. i couldn't actually give a crap what 'name' is placed on a kitchen, i place value on what comes out on the plate on the night i'm there because that's my experience. so to clarify, i am criticising home hill, not david (apologies to david if he no longer works there), my 'comment address to david' was more a request for a response from the head of the current crew. which i thought was david from my reading the original post. ok?

Anonymous said...

Oh Jess your comments re: David would have been valid anyway-HH was never any good when he was there (as his stints anywhere are brief apparently)Dont know why people bother with the place at all quite frankly.

Anonymous said...

again.....wow

Anonymous said...

David here....Jess, just to clarify, I havnt worked at Home Hill since march 2010, so am unable to respond to any critisms you might have, or have any knowledge of any goings on down there. For the 'anonymous' person consistently intent on slagging me off in any forum possible, get a life, or barring that find someone else to slate. I have never claimed to be a great chef or anything else, and I have moved around no more or less than any other bloody chef that I know.If you cant get this through your thick skull, get my phone number and call me directly....we can have a lovely discussion on all my faults!! Otherwise, lets focus on the quality posts on this fantastic blog, and move on!!

Anonymous said...

A persons reputation follows them whereever they go-good or otherwise.
'Not' the anonymouse person

Anonymous said...

And what reputation is that eh? Considering that I have rarely been in Tas in the last four years, how can anyone form one? Added to which, how the hell does anyone know who I am anyway? Havn't exactly blazed a trail down here, and there is far more deserving chefs to talk about......

Anonymous said...

Thats just too funny-I just logged on and again it seems you think every comment is directed toward yourself-what an ego! I was just saying reputations follow, thats all. You sound very insecure, chill out, its not about you. The cream rises thats all.
'Not' the anonymouse person

moln said...

So just a question. Which reputation are you referring to? Because you are definetly talking about a person and the person occuring most in these comments is David. Which logically would be whos reputation you are talking about, otherwise the comment seems a bit out of place.

Geoffrey said...

David makes the most incredible bread. I went in to Moorilla one day for lunch, and the highlight of my meals was this amazing sourdough. Asked where they got it from and they said they got it from him. She was a friendly little waitress. Sheree or Shelly or something? Totally hot. The things I would do to her in the... ;-p

David is an excellent baker. And I don't care if he has a crap reputation. What I care about is that when I fork out the hard-earned, I get quality and value for money. If that means he rubs a few people up the wrong way then fine. So what. Kitchens aren't exactly filled with nice people are they? If that means he sticks around at one place and gets all he can out of it then leaves so he can get better then good for him. Unlike other chefs who stay at the one place and get stale. I'm the customer and I want quality. Put it this way. The meal at Moorilla was naff. The bread on the other hand was great. Anyway, enough of inflating his ego.

Anonymous said...

Apart from oviously being a sycophant "meal at Moorilla naff, bread great"-good grief! You are also being offensive to all kitchen workers.
Geoffery says: "Kitchens aren't exactly filled with nice people are they?"
Well apparently in your defense of your little mate you have revealed a familiarity with his modus operandi ha ha!

Geoffrey said...

They were rhetorical questions idiot. I have never met David. I am just assuming from the comments on here that he offended some people. You included. The meal at Moorilla was crap. For $30+ mains and $15+ entrees, I expected a lot more. I expect a risotto cooked from scratch, not pre-cooked stuff that came out under cooked in any case, with supposedly seared scallops that had been virtually stewed. I expect more than a pile of beans, some fish and a drizzle of balsamic for my main. And I don't care if I offend kitchen workers. I pay your salary. No customer no restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Geoffery Blainey for your hysterical comments from the looney left.
You sound as though your contempt is not soley reserved for kitchen workers but for everyone who has a differing opinion to you.
If ever you do go back to Moorilla the staff will know you as the kitchen staff hating, bread gobbling, belligerent suck hole that you obviously are. Good day sir.

Geoffrey said...

The looney left? I don't care if your opinion is different to mine. David makes good bread, the meal at Moorilla was crap and way overpriced, and I don't care how many people a chef offends if I'm a paying customer. Are any of those unreasonable?

So tell us. How do you know David? Are you an ex-chef from Moorilla? Or maybe you are one of the FOH people? You just don't like it because he is better than you. Why don't you put up your first name so we at least know who you are. Show some spine.

Anonymous said...

Whos this David Fukes person and what has he done wrong? Is this Geoffrey his mate or something? Rita help!

Geoffrey said...

Not his mate. Just like his food and am happy to defend him from a customers perspective. From my perspective he has done nothing wrong. To criticise someone for leaving a place to improve their knowledge and skills is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Seems like tall poppy syndrome. I employed and had the pleasure of working with David twice between 2005 and 2008 at Moorilla. I have followed his career since and Yes he is not only a talented Baker but a great chef and one of the most dedicated culinary professionals I have known. Yes he does have an ego but it is certainly in check with his abilities and less that most chef's around. Dave deserves the kudos especially with the sacrifices he has made along the way. Anyone who employees him is lucky indeed. Dave ignore the crap. Remember critics are like eunuchs - they know how but they can't.

JH